British police ask to interview Livni on war crimes allegations

Tzipi Livni, leader of the Hatnua party, speaking at The Jerusalem Post diplomatic conference in Herzliya, Dec. 12, 2012. (Photo: Marc Israel Sellem/FLASH90/JTA)

Tzipi Livni, leader of the Hatnua party, speaking at The Jerusalem Post diplomatic conference in Herzliya, Dec. 12, 2012. (Photo: Marc Israel Sellem/FLASH90/JTA)

(JTA) – British police asked Tzipi Livni to appear for an interview regarding war crimes allegations while she was Israeli foreign minister in 2008-2009.

Livni, who was headed to London for a conference convened by the Haaretz newspaper, received the summons on Thursday before leaving Israel, the newspaper reported on Sunday.

The summons was voluntary, and Livni declined it, but Israeli officials also took the precaution of arranging a meeting for her with British foreign office diplomats so her visit would be under cover of diplomatic immunity. Livni is now a member of the opposition Zionist Union faction in the Knesset.

Livni, a member of the security cabinet during the 2008-2009 war between Israel and Hamas in Gaza, decried the threat of arrest by British police faced by senior Israeli officials who visit London. The police are acting on complaints filed by pro-Palestinian groups.

“The fact that Israeli decision-makers and army commanders are forced to participate in a ‘theatre of the absurd’ when we come to London is something that is not acceptable,” she told Haaretz. “It’s not a personal issue, it’s a moral issue and this is something that needs to be changed.”

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